Critical Thinking

Will be required to take a position “YES” or “NO” on ONE specific issue, frame the issue, and provide substantive arguments supporting their position that are evidence based. Also, in the problem students will be required to consider objections to their position and arguments, and to respond to their objections. GATHERING EVIDENCE AND INFORMATION WILL REQUIRE SOME RESEARCH. Fair-mindedness should be practiced. Relevant questions and issue should be identified and researched. And, students should avoid fallacies, or be aware when one argues using a fallacy. This is a problem solving exercise, not a persuasive essay parse although persuasion is relevant. In the last three Sessions we will cover approaches to solving this problem bringing together all the material covered in the class. THE ESSAY SHOULD BE A MINIMUM OF 1500 (ALTHOUGH THERE IS NO WORD LIMIT)QUOTES MUST HAVE QUOTATION MARKS AND REFERENCES.USE APA FORMAT. WHAT THE ASSIGNMENT SHOULD LOOK LIKE INITIAL DESCRIPTION OF BIASES AND ASSUMPTIONS. In a minimum of 100-300 words, describe your potential biases on this issue. Do you have strong opinions on this issue? If so, what are the origins of these opinions? What influences your thinking? Are there certain assumptions that you will apply to this issue? Apply the RULES OF CRITICAL LIVING: Know yourself (THERE IS NO RIGHT OR WRONG ANSWER TO THIS QUESTION. THE RESPONSE WILL BE EVALUATED ACCORDING TO THE DEPTH AND CLARITY OF THE REFLECTIONS.) INTRODUCTORY PARAGRAPH (100-300 words minimum) The introductory paragraph should present the following: State the problem and the hypothesis or proposed solution to the problem: FOR EXAMPLE, “In this essay I will argue that the terms of Proposition 64 on the California 2016, November ballot should be enacted nationally.” Or, “In this essay I will argue that Marijuana should be legalized for recreational use nationally.” Or, “In this essay I will argue that Marijuana should not be legalized for recreational use. “Explain or describe your general position, and any general qualifications to the proposed solutions. This will require some description of Prop. 64.Frame the issue for your reader. What is framing an issue? See: . Framing the issue in this essay will involve at least describing some relevant aspects of context. Why is this issue important? How is it relevant to contemporary politics and social issues? What general approach are you taking in addressing the issue? BODY OF ESSAY (PRESENTATION OF ARGUMENTS AND EVIDENCE AND RESPONSES TO OBJECTIONS) AT LEAST THREE ARGUMENTS FOR YOUR POSITION. There is no one way to present arguments and evidence, of course. This problem will require addressing positions on issues, issues (those issues deemed most important to the election and why). Outline the arguments for your position first. Identify the most important evidence and explain how that evidence supports your position. In stating opinions and claims, students should consider the reasons or grounds for their opinions and claims. Students should identify those key opinions and claims that support the argument and provide evidence and arguments for these claims. Opinions or claims lacking evidence and argument do not offer support for the position presented.  EXPLAINING AND REFUTING AT LEAST ONE OBJECTION OR COUNTER-ARGUMENT: Identify the strongest criticism of not merely your proposed solution, but also of your argument for you solution–the arguments and evidence presented. Explain at least one of objection, and then respond to it. (You may use this technique and respond to more than one objection–this is a very effective way to formulate a informed opinion based on solid argument.) Again, focus on presenting evidence and argument to refute the arguments against your position (solution and evidence supporting your solution). CONCLUDING REMARKS (100-300 words minimum)In your concluding remarks you may do a variety of things: 1) summarize your position. 2) express final thoughts, convictions, or reservations 3) reflect on what additional evidence might change your way of looking at the problem 4) express your overall degree of confidence in the solution. STEP ONE: SELECTING A TOPIC AND AN ISSUEAs it is stated above, it is recommended to address ONE of the following topics and issues.RECOMMENDED TOPICS AND ISSUES/PROBLEMS (STUDENTS ARE ONLY REQUIRED TO RESPOND TO ONE)TOPIC 1: The Legalization of Marijuana. ISSUE: Should Marijuana be legalized nationally according to the terms of California Prop. 64? OR, “Should Marijuana be legalized for recreational use?” TOPIC 2: The Death Penalty: ISSUE: Should the death penalty be banned? If so, why? If not, why not?

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